Background: Empathy is a professional value difficult to teach and challenging for beginning nursing students to grasp. This article describes how a poem was integrated in a seminar to engage students in exploring empathy and its relevance to their forming professional identities. Method: Preseminar, nursing students (N = 8) read a book chapter about thinking empathetically. In seminar, they read an assigned poem and, using guiding questions, discussed it in small and large groups. Postseminar, students wrote self-reflections about their most important learning of the week. Results: Through in-seminar discussions and postseminar reflections, students crafted new meanings of empathy, contemplated new insights, and integrated them into their imagined professional identities. In written self-reflections, six of eight students indicated the seminar was their most important learning of the week. Conclusion: Poetry is an engaging platform that makes accessible to beginning students the values of the profession that are difficult to articulate and grasp.
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